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Corey  Brettschneider

Corey Brettschneider

Author & Professor

Biography

Corey Brettschneider has studied and taught politics and constitutional law for nearly all of his adult life. He earned a PhD in politics from Princeton and a law degree from Stanford. Since then, Corey has written and taught in Brown's political science department and as a visiting professor in the law schools at Fordham, University of Chicago, and Harvard. His focus has been on issues central to our democracy, like free speech, the role of courts in our system of government, and religious freedom. Read More >

Even with this background in politics and law, though, Corey was unprepared for anything like the 2016 presidential campaign. Suddenly, proposals to violate the Constitution that had been the stuff of far-fetched classroom hypotheticals became just another part of the agenda for a presidential candidate who would soon win the election. In response to this shock to our democratic system, that summer he began writing a series of articles for Politico, Time.com, and The New York Times. Brettschneider also began regularly discussing constitutional issues related to the presidency on BBC television and radio programs and on both liberal and conservative radio, including Rising Up With Sonali, The Dan Yorke Show, The David Feldman Show, and John Fugelsang's Tell Me Everything. The hosts and callers on those shows made it clear that a book clarifying the constitutionally-prescribed role of the president was essential. But while those articles and discussions were inspired by the events of 2016, he has endeavored in The Oath and the Office to think seriously about the constitutional limits on the office of president at any point in time. Thus the book draws on stories about past presidents and frames dilemmas that might be faced by future presidents, in an effort to identify some timeless principles that can help to guide us as citizens in an increasingly fragile democracy. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

How to Teach the Constitution: What Does It Take to be President?

Brettschneider, who is a professor at Brown University and has taught at many major law schools, guides teachers through everything you need to know about the Constitution if you want to be President of the United States or vote for one. In doing so he offers a new model for how to teach civics. Topics include war, race and equal protection and the law of free speech.

Free Speech on Campus & Beyond

Brettschneider offers a unique third approach to the question of hate speech. Some free speech purist defends absolute rights to say anything on college campuses. Others argue for limits on extreme speech. Brettschneider discusses a third approach: The university should protect all viewpoints but criticizing those that attack its core values.

Presidential Leadership

In today's times, many confuse leadership with brashness. But Brettschneider draws on George Washington, who many consider our first and greatest president, to make the case that modesty is the chief virtue of a leader, effective in putting the mission first, ahead of self-interest.

The History of Religious Freedom

Brettschneider offers a way to get beyond our current conflicts over religion by touring us through a history of religious freedom in the United States. From Madison's battle for religious freedom in Virginia to Washington's famous dialogue with a Rhode Island synagogue, Brettschneider talks about how the framers foresaw our current conflicts involving religion and offered a way to resolve them.

Why Do We Punish?

Brettschneider offers a tour of explanations of why government, parents, and schools punish. He begins in England with resistance to a tyrannical king, moving to a surprising and radically new approach to the subject at the founding of the United States introduced by the framers Benjamin Rush and Benjamin Franklin.

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